Symbol graph; Symbolic graphic; Symbol plot
A written character or mark used to represent something; a letter, figure, or sign conventionally standing for some object, process, etc. (Oxford English Dictionary). Examples are the figures denoting the planets, signs of the zodiac, etc. in astronomy; the letters and other characters denoting elements, and so on. in chemistry, quantities, operations, etc. in mathematics, the faces of a crystal in crystallography.
In data visualization, the use of symbols allows the representation of multivariate data items, where each variate contributes to the symbol. The set of symbols may be displayed in an array and superimposed on coordinates to put extra information on a point plot or, if appropriate, on a geographical map.
When symbolic representations of information is used as a tool for thought or a form of communication, one distinguishes between abstract symbols where the graphical units are shapes formed by lines and areas...
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